Construction around the L.A. Zoo, in addition to the Zoo's new stingy, proprietary attitude concerning its parking lot, resulted in two changes for the 2003 Jimmy Stewart Relay Marathon. First, runners faced new parking shuttle procedures, and everyone managed that well. Somewhat more challenging was the new course route that offered more hills in the first two miles and a soft dirt path covering the next mile. The final two miles remained, by and large, identical to prior years, but overall the runners could expect slower times.
TCLA I, however, knew nothing of slow times. Every runner on this team (i.e., Rasmus Tamstorf, Nathan Shopay, Steven McQuaide, Brian Spangenberg, and Chris DeWitt) held their own, which is impressive given that aside from Brian, none of them had been racing much more than 5K lately. The team's 2:29:42 was good for sixth overall and fourth in the Running Club, Men's Division. Next year, may the boys bring home a medal.
Those that comprise the club's traditional masters' entry, TCLA II, were all making noise before the race that they were not in shape. Nevertheless, Dean Goodman, Andreas Kemkes, Paul Anderson, Brian Bartholomew, and Jim Spear relied on experience and pulled out a third-place finish in the Masters Division with a 3:07:30.
TCLA III and TCLA IV were the club's two mixed teams. TCLA III relied on Ogie Espinosa's experience as team captain. Ogie led a tight ship, and he, BaoKim Coleman, Chi Vuong, Becky Walkden, and Michael Berger finished in 3:38:51. TCLA IV relied on Susan Rendell's sandwiches and Cindy Bernstein's brownies. Susan, Jeff Bernstein, Cindy Bernstein, Sharon Boles, and Sharon Yamato ran 3:33:49, but they ate better than anyone else.
TCLA V, a.k.a. DCLA, entered the race under a "pre-Boston" cautionary flag. Even so, Brian Panosian, David Kent, Tim Petersen, Clarence Smith, and Peter Glassman "jogged" a 2:54:54.
TCLA VI, the club's second-ever female team, was again in it "only for the fun," and again took second in the Running Club, Female Division. Moreover, Erica Nemmers, Wenise Wong, Stephanie Cahn, Amy Aukstikalnis, and Jacinda Raiche turned in a time of 3:02:11, five minutes better than last year's women's time.
One thing that relay races foster is the formation of new teams, and hopefully new friends. The runners on TCLA VII, Mike Sudo, Mike Kukuchka, Steve Edwards, Mark Harris, and Noel Velasco, hardly knew each other before the race, but they came together for one shining moment. Actually, the moment lasted 2:56:41.
TCLA VIII was the club's second "pre-Boston" team. Todd Patterson, Blair Tarr, Rab Brown, Tyrone Black, and some guy that kept eating Cindy's brownies were just happy to have it all over so they could go eat more food at the Nike BBQ. That may have inspired their 2:43:56, good for sixth in the Running Club, Male Division.
TCLA IX (or X if you look at the entry) was essentially a Niketown masters team that relied on Jose Castillo to keep them looking good and running fast.
Not even the semi-inclement weather could spoil the good time to be had at this event, and thanks to all those who helped make it fun. Special thanks to Rikako Takei who started a new tradition: Chief Timer.
TCLA I TCLA II TCLA III
Rasmus 30:06 Dean 35:32 Bao 46:36
Nathan 30:07 Andreas 36:51 Ogie 41:41
Steven M. 30:53 Paul A. 40:32 Chi 43:36
Brian 28:19 Brian 38:14 Becky 45:02
Chris 30:17 Jim 36:21 Michael 41:56
TCLA IV TCLA V TCLA VI
Sharon B. 43:44 Brian P. 37:17 Erica 34:11
Sharon Y. 44:00 David 33:27 Wenise 36:29
Susan 45:40 Tim 35:37 Stephanie 39:18
Cindy 42:50 Clarence 34:53 Amy 41:58
Jeff 37:25 Peter 33:40 Jacinda 35:15
TCLA VII TCLA VIII TCLA IX
Mike S. 32:59 Todd 33:03 A
Mike K. 40:35 Blair 34:08 B
Steve 34:03 Eric 34:33 C
Mark 38:56 Rab 30:51 D
Noel 30:23 Tyrone 31:21 Jose
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